These pigs will fly

Hier ist der Platz für Artikel die für alle interessant sein könnten. (ZiB und CargoLifter).

Moderatoren: ZiB-Moderatoren, Moderator

These pigs will fly

Beitragvon hilgenberg » Di, 06.10.2009 21:54

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinio ... 90562.html

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

These pigs will fly
U.S. army's need for airships could transform the North, be a boon to Winnipeg
By: Barry Prentice

3/10/2009 1:00 AM


Enlarge Image

SkyHook HLV

On Sept. 2, an announcement was made in Washington, DC, that the U.S. military wants to have operational within 18 months an airship the size of a football field to be used as a reconnaissance platform -- the same purpose for which early dirigibles were used in the First World War.

The announcement created little fuss, at least outside the civilian airship industry. But within the civ ilian industry, all were abuzz -- if the military demonstrates the efficacy of airships it will lead to a revolution in airship transportation, transform the economy of northern Canada and potentially lead to significant expansion in Winnipeg's aerospace sector.

As you might imagine, I hopped on a plane and headed to Washington and attended the meeting of the National Defence Industries Association at which it was announced that a consortium of aerospace and communications companies is being created to build the airship.

Why now? The war in Afghanistan is not going well. Too many soldiers are being killed by "improvised explosive devices" -- roadside bombs -- and the insurgents have a tactical upper hand; they can hide among the civilian population and operate undetected in a huge, uncontrolled space.

The military is searching for countermeasures to deal with these chronic tactical weaknesses. The exigency of fighting insurgents' bombs in Afghanistan has cr eated the need for continuous surveillance. In the words of the four-star General who addressed the audience, the U.S. wants to conduct "forensics before the crime."

Only by continuously monitoring the activities of the enemy from 20,000 feet can they separate the nefarious activities of the "bad guys" from their cover within the innocent civilian population.

The military has settled on the hybrid airship as best suited to provide 21 days of 24-hour surveillance in the vast reaches of Afghanistan.

Normal procurement processes can take four years just to sign a contract. The airship is being acquired under a special fund for experimental prototypes. The U.S. military is funding the consortium to put an unmanned airship the size of a football field into service in 18 months. The Long Endurance Multi-intelligence Vehicle (LEMV), as it will be called for reasons only military planners could explain, will be loaded with sensors, cameras and interoperable communi cations that allow U.S. and NATO troops, including Canadians in Kandahar, to detect bombs before they can kill our soldiers.

The hybrid airship that the U.S. Army wants is large enough to carry between 12 and 15 tons of cargo at lower elevations. The U.S. Navy is keenly interested in this application because the Marines are searching for a sea-basing solution that would allow them to battle from inland to the shore. An unmanned cargo airship could take troops behind enemy fortifications and fight towards their logistical re-supply.

The logistical needs of the Marines are similar to the requirements for development of northern resources and re-supply to remote communities in Canada. Hybrid airship technology is being pioneered to meet military objectives, but the largest demand is undoubtedly civilian.

Airships have the freight cost, availability, dependability, capability, frequency and speed characteristics to fill many of the transportation gaps in the No rth. Airship developers are testing models and prototypes that could deliver cargo anywhere in northern Canada east of the Rockies in 48 hours.

The cargo loads would range from 10 tonnes for short hauls to 250 tonnes for long haul transport. Airship freight rates will be closer to the cost of trucks over ice roads than airplanes. They will operate 12 months per year and mainly where no all-weather roads exist. Modern airships could give the North connectivity with markets that they have always been denied.

The markets in northern Canada also make sense for the airship industry. Freight rates in the North are double rates those in southern Canada. High profit margins are necessary to pay for development costs and offset commercial risks. These profits can be sustained because cargo airships have no direct competition. Loads over 10 tonnes are outside civilian helicopter range. Airplanes need runways, and ice roads are seasonal.

Ultimately, competition from o ther airships will force profit levels to normal returns. But, the immediate demand is large enough to justify long-term investment. A cautious estimate of demand for airships in the North is 60 airships with 50-tonne equivalent aircraft. This market is large enough for airship manufacturing hangars to be assembled and models to be produced in series that spread their fixed costs.

Winnipeg is a logical place for the airship industry to locate. Our aerospace cluster is the largest in western Canada, which means trained engineers, technicians and input suppliers are close at hand. The elevation is low, the weather patterns are stable and a ready market is on our doorstep.

The first place to employ the airship could be the remote communities on the east side of Lake Winnipeg. A significant population exists in the area, without roads, and airships could serve their needs without cutting traffic corridors through the boreal forest.

The airship industry has been approaching a tipping point for many years now. The delay in seeing modern cargo airships in the sky is not caused by technological barriers or deficiency of demand. The problem is the "innovator's dilemma." Until a large airship is produced, no one can be certain whether a viable market really exists. Consequently, civilian aerospace manufacturers all want to be the "second one in."

No reasonable person desires war, but the battle in Afghanistan is providing the impetus for a solution to the chronic transportation gaps limiting the development of northern Canada. As soon as we see that first big airship in the sky, there will be a stampede of aerospace manufacturers trying to get into this business.

Barry Prentice is a professor of supply chain management at the University of Manitoba.

TOMORROW: TIPPING POINT

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 3, 2009 A18
Das größte Vergnügen im Leben besteht darin, Dinge zu tun, die man nach
Meinung anderer Leute nicht fertigbringt. (Aymé, Marcel)
hilgenberg
CL 160
CL 160
 
Beiträge: 300
Registriert: Di, 08.04.2003 16:25
Wohnort: Marburg

Transportation future tipping toward airships

Beitragvon hilgenberg » Di, 06.10.2009 21:56

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinio ... 72292.html

Transportation future tipping toward airships
By: Barry Prentice

4/10/2009 1:00 AM

Second part of a three-part series
Tipping points in transportation are rarer than for most technology because of the scale of investment required and the competition from incumbent alternatives. Since the Industrial Revolution, a new transportation mode has been introduced every 40 to 50 years that pioneered a new niche in freight markets.

Steamships and later steam railways characterized the 19th century. Trucks, airplanes and pipelines dominated most of the 20th century. International containers took off during the final decades and into the beginning of the 21st century. The next great wave of transportation technology that will characterize the next decades belongs to the transport airship.

The answer to why airships make sense now lies in why they did not make sense earlier. The technological challenges of airships are deceptively complicated. An airship has to be lighter than air (LTA) and strong enough to carry enormou s loads and stresses. As buoyancy vehicles, transport airships are immense. The rule of thumb is that a cubic metre of helium must be contained for every kilogram of lift. Despite its enormous profile to the wind and elements, an airship must be able to land with precision and safely discharge and load cargo or ballast.

As if the technological barrier were not enough, airships also have to meet strict safety standards that have not even been codified by the air regulators and add considerably to development costs. Even run-of-the-mill cargo airplanes could cost $1 billion to develop.

Clearly, no large aerospace manufacturer is going to gamble the company on a leap of faith. If the development of modern transport airships were easy, they would be flying today. The proof of concept was amply demonstrated by the giant Zeppelins of the interwar period in the 1930s.

Changes in technology and demand are aligning to change the constraints of the past. The key material deve lopments are composite fabrics and carbon-fibre construction. The envelopes of the giant Zeppelins lasted only four years when exposed to ultraviolet radiation and offered no structural support. Modern airships are using composite envelopes that provide all the structural strength and can resist the sun radiation for more than 15 years.

Carbon-fibre materials make the construction of gondolas and control surfaces lighter, stronger and larger than before.

Perhaps the most important development is vectored thrust and computerized control systems that make it possible for modern airships to land and take off without any ground-crew assistance. Finally, modern weather forecasting has removed the danger of surprise thunderstorms and provided the ability to navigate the path of least wind resistance.

No technical barriers remain to the development of large airships. The problem, fundamentally, is a lack of business confidence.

The military is superb at identifying its requirements in the face of chronic losses of troops and tactical defeats. Frequently, this means finding the "higher-ground" advantage over the enemy. In the case of Afghanistan, the exigency of fighting insurgents' tactics of improvised explosive devices is leading literally to the demand for a higher-ground solution.

Which is why it was announced in Washington on Sept. 2 at the National Defence Industries Association meeting that a consortium is being formed with the purpose of building an airship -- Long Endurance Multifaceted Vehicle -- to provide continuous surveillance of the insurgent activities in Afghanistan. The hybrid airship, as big as a football field and capable of lifting 15 tons, is to be operational within 18 months.

Once the military has demonstrated the efficacy of airships, it is expected that a long-anticipated explosion in their use will occur, which would mean a sea change in the economics of northern Canada, a region now burdened by excessive t ransportation costs and inadequate transportation links.

The next article in this series discusses how a new generation of transport airships could create a sea change in the economics of Northern Canada. The question is, do we have the political will and leadership to seize this opportunity.


Barry Prentice is a professor of supply-chain management at the University of Manitoba.


TOMORROW: Think Big

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 4, 2009 A11
Das größte Vergnügen im Leben besteht darin, Dinge zu tun, die man nach
Meinung anderer Leute nicht fertigbringt. (Aymé, Marcel)
hilgenberg
CL 160
CL 160
 
Beiträge: 300
Registriert: Di, 08.04.2003 16:25
Wohnort: Marburg

Airships could be the next National Dream

Beitragvon hilgenberg » Di, 06.10.2009 21:58

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinio ... 11867.html

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Airships could be the next National Dream

By: Barry Prentice

5/10/2009 1:00 AM

Last of a three-part series

The settlement of Canada is a battle against distance. Prior to the technical innovations that made railways economic, only the river valleys were settled in the heart of the continent and furs were the only product valuable enough to export.

Building the railway to Western Canada stimulated an economy based on agriculture, mining and manufacturing. Sir John A. Macdonald is remembered as a visionary prime minister who saw the benefits of investing in the new transportation technology, and made it happen against difficult odds.

The same notion of nation-building was evoked recently by Prime Minister Stephen Harper's visit to Iqaluit, Nunavut, and his tour of the northern territories. There, economic development is impeded by the distance to markets and the limitations of the current modes of transport. A trip to Iqaluit has a salutary effect on one's perception of the c hallenges of economic development in the North.

A flight from Winnipeg to Ottawa is shorter than the flight from Iqaluit to either Ottawa or Winnipeg. Virtually all the territory below these flight paths has no permanent surface transport infrastructure.

The cost of building all-weather roads to the North is approximately $1 million per kilometre, depending on bridge and drainage requirements. A 1,200-kilometre, single-lane, gravel road from Thompson, to Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, is estimated to cost $2 billion to build.

The Herculean challenge of infrastructure may be what former prime minister Mackenzie King had in mind when he said, "If some countries have too much history, we have too much geography."

The consequences of inadequate transportation are obvious in the food stores of the North. Nutritious food is twice the price that is paid in southern Canada. Two litres of milk retail at $6.40 in Iqaluit, and grapes are $9.99 per kilogram, even with the benefit of a $50-million transport subsidy. In the more remote communities, prices are even higher. Ever-increasing transport subsidies are neither sustainable nor a solution for economic development.

Without a change in transportation technology, the North cannot expect to enjoy the level of economic development experienced in the south. Trucks and trains require infrastructure that is too expensive, ships are seasonal and limited to the coasts, and airplanes are already optimized. Moreover, climate change is making ice roads unreliable and melting permafrost threatens existing roads and landing strips.

The answer to Canada's economic development in the North is a new generation of cargo-carrying airships. They are the only transportation technology on the horizon that can offer year-round service to all parts of the North, with no demand for expensive infrastructure, and offer a service that is competitive with trucking speed and cost. Airships are the sole transportation tech nology that can create the equivalent of a National Dream for the North in the 21st century.

In politics and business, timing is everything. The railways were not the instant success that many might assume. The economics of railways demanded that locomotives pull at least five cars, otherwise horses and wagons were more competitive. Cast-iron rails were too brittle to support locomotives heavy enough to break this competitive barrier. It took 50 years before ironworking technology achieved low-cost, tough rails that enabled modern freight railways to develop. Sir John A. Macdonald's timing could hardly have been better.

Airships are approaching a similar tipping point and provide an opportunity for the next great prime minister to conquer space in Canada's remote northern hinterland.


Barry Prentice is a professor of supply-chain management at the University of Manitoba.


All three parts in the series are available online at http://www.winnipegfreepress.com


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 5, 2009 A10
Das größte Vergnügen im Leben besteht darin, Dinge zu tun, die man nach
Meinung anderer Leute nicht fertigbringt. (Aymé, Marcel)
hilgenberg
CL 160
CL 160
 
Beiträge: 300
Registriert: Di, 08.04.2003 16:25
Wohnort: Marburg

Re: These pigs will fly - Übersetzungshilfe

Beitragvon hilgenberg » Mi, 07.10.2009 11:30

Hallo zusammen,

für diejenigen, die keine Lust haben soviel Englisch zu lesen: Man kann solche kompletten Texte vom Google Übersetzer übersetzen lassen. Einfach reinkopieren und los. Das Deutsch, was dabei herauskommt ist zwar gruselig, aber dennoch einigermaßen verständlich.

Gruß hilgenberg
Das größte Vergnügen im Leben besteht darin, Dinge zu tun, die man nach
Meinung anderer Leute nicht fertigbringt. (Aymé, Marcel)
hilgenberg
CL 160
CL 160
 
Beiträge: 300
Registriert: Di, 08.04.2003 16:25
Wohnort: Marburg


Zurück zu Presse

Wer ist online?

Mitglieder in diesem Forum: 0 Mitglieder und 1 Gast

cron